Wednesday: Colorado State 61, New Mexico 54
Saturday: 11 a.m. (MT), New Mexico at TCU
On The Air: 610-AM KNML
GoLobos.com: Game Recap, Stats
Jan. 25, 2012
FORT COLLINS, Colo. --- The New Mexico Lobos once again were hurt by turnovers (22), but used a 9-of-18 effort from the 3-point line to hang around with the Colorado State Rams before losing a Mountain West contest 61-54.
The Lobos move on to Fort Worth for an 11 a.m. (MT), tip Saturday with the TCU Horned Frogs.
For the third straight game, New Mexico put the opening points on the board, shooting a lights-out 80 percent heading into the first media timeout. UNM led 9-2 at that mark. The Lobos held the Colorado State Rams to just four points in the first seven-plus minutes of play and built its lead to 12-6 at the second media break.
However, for the third straight game, New Mexico (6-13, 0-5 in the MW) also saw an early lead vanish. The win pushed the Rams to 4-1 in the Mountain West.
New Mexico didn't relinquish its initial lead until four minutes remained in the first half of play. The Rams slowly chipped away at the Lobo lead until a jumper by Megan Heimstra gave CSU a 21-20 lead late in the first half.
The Lobos tied it at 23-all on a three-ball by Taylor, but the Rams took the reins after that. CSU put up four more points to take a 27-23 lead into the locker room. After shooting 4-for-5 over the first four minutes, the Lobos went 4-for-18 from the floor over the remainder of the half, falling to a 34.8 percent accuracy.
CSU shot 48.1 percent on the half, led by Heimstra with eight points and five boards. The team capitalized 14-4 in the paint, 13-7 off of turnovers, and 15-8 in bench points.
The momentum continued for the Rams in the second half as CSU scored the first five points of the period. A 7-3 run opened the lead to 34-26 in favor of Colorado State. The Lobos didn't go away easily and were able to cut the Rams' lead to one, 34-33, with 12:39 left to play.
Unfortunately, that was as close as the Lobos could get. The MW preseason Player of the Year, Kim Mestdagh, scored seven straight for the Rams, pushing the lead back to eight. Caroline Durbin answered with a three, and both teams traded baskets en route to a 46-41 lead for CSU with under eight minutes to play.
The Lobos, despite turning the ball over 22 times, hung around. New Mexico was within four points at 48-44 with five minutes to play. But over the final five minutes, CSU was able to convert on multiple offensive opportunities, despite full court pressure from the Lobos.
The Rams built their lead back up to 11 points, 57-46, with a little over a minute to play until Porche Torrance drained a three-pointer to get UNM back within single digits. Torrance had three steals in the losing effort, but UNM lost that statistical battle as CSU had 13 steals to six for the visitors from Albuquerque.
New Mexico was still within eight with 19 seconds to play and gave it a final effort on a Taylor three with eight seconds remaining. The Lobos immediately fouled Mestdagh, but she drained both from the line and the Rams held on to take a 61-54 win on their home court.
Mestdagh finished with 19 points, 17 of which came in the second half. Sam Martin chalked up 15 points for CSU, while Heimstra added 10 and nine rebounds.
Taylor's final three to close the game gave her 14 points on the night to lead the Lobos. Torrance put up nine points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. The Lobos shot 40.9 percent on the game, 50 percent from downtown and 75 percent from the charity stripe. The Rams outshot the Lobos at 46.6 percent, but scored triple the points in the paint with a 30-10 figure.Lobo forward Jourdan Erskine, who had been sidelined with a stress fracture, returned to the lineup and played 13 minutes scoring two points and hauling down three rebounds.